Not So Funny When It Happened

The Mouse owns it all, except Molly McGregor, who is the property of the incomparable Lady Jacqueline, a.k.a Sex In Boots, till someone tells me differently.

......

It was a lovely dawn. The sky was clear, the breeze was rustling in the palms, and the halls of Port Royal's prison were lively with the sound of song.

A cheerful square of morning sunlight drifted in through the window of the smallest cell, warming the damp stone walls and momentarily blinding William Turner, who lay blinking muzzily up at the day from a heap of straw in the corner. With a muffled grunt, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes grumbling as his knuckle irritated the bruise that was nicely puffing up one eyesocket wishing he could rub the ache from his head and the slosh from his stomach. It wasn't the worst hangover he'd experienced since Jack Sparrow had come into his life...

"Oh, look who's awake. Here, lets sing it for him, luv, and see what he thinks."

"I'm sure he'll think it's lewd and completely inappropriate, Mr. Sparrow."

"Well, 'tis a drinking song. I should hope so."

...but it didn't look to be getting any better.

Will sat up, picking straw out of his hair, and winced as Jack and Elizabeth launched into another jolly round of singing.

"OOOOH... ALAS POOR MOLLY MCGREGOR...SHE WAS A PRETTY WHORE...SHE'D ALWAYS GREET YOU WITH A SMILE AND NEVER LOCK HER DOOR..."

"Er...Jack?"

"...AND ON THE DAY SHE DIED...THE MENFOLK THEY DID WEEP..."

"Elizabeth?"

"...ALAS POOR MARY MCGREGOR FINALLY GETS SOME SLEEP!!! OOOHHH...."

Before they could introduce him to the chorus, Will said, "Have you been at this all night?"

Elizabeth held out an arm to him, and he crawled across to where the two of them sat shoulder to shoulder against the bars of their tiny cell. "Jack's been teaching me proper pirate songs," she explained, settling against Will's side with a happy wriggle as her husband planted a kiss on her cheek.

"Aye. She INSISTS I owe it to her after that interesting night we spent on...er...." Jack grinned his magpie grin. "If you think your little ladies' a hellion sober, try her after you've got some drink in'er."

Will blinked. "What?"

"Will, I cannot believe you slept through all Jack's caterwauling"

"Excuse ME, luv. You know the boy can't hold his liquor. Anyway, he's lucky he didn't wake up to find the place burned down around his ears."

"Will you hold that against me FOREVER?"

Will blinked again, and rubbed his head. "Can...can you two /i try to keep it down to a dull roar? And shouldn't you at least be pretending to look ashamed of yourselves?"

Jack crossed his legs before him. He'd produced a coin from one of the many pockets in his outlandish outfit and sat busily rolling it across his quicksilver fingers. "I dunno why we would, lad. I certainly don't. How about you, Miss?"

Elizabeth sighed and propped her head on Will's shoulder. "I suppose when my father turns up, I'll have to attempt it."

"Lovely shiner you got there, William," Jack said, sweetly. "By the way."

"No thanks to you," Will snapped. He didn't want to think about the origins of his headache. He didn't really want to think at all. It was too embarrassing. Luckily, most of the previous night was a blur, which took care of that problem fairly well. Will shifted his rump uncomfortably in the straw and Elizabeth shuffled around so they could lean back-to-back. "Last night was one of the worst nights of my life." He considered. "Aside from...you know...that time the undead tried to kill us."

Jack flipped the coin, caught it, grinned as it turned up heads. "Just remember lad, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or...longer. I can never keep that straight, honestly..."

Knowing the pirate could happily mutter to himself all day, Will mournfully interrupted, "Well, in this case what didn't kill us got us thrown in the cells and gave me a black eye. Thank you very much, Jack."

Elizabeth sent Jack a warning glare. It said If you two start brawling here, I will not bother to save your sorry pirate hide. It was an amazingly succinct glare. "When did the Lieutenant say that we'd be let out?"

"He didn't." Jack replied. He stretched out beside the two of them and dropped his hat over his eyes. "He said someone would be by to 'deal' with us. Eventually."

"Deal with us?"

"Aye"

William frowned. "Last time the Port Royal officials decided to deal with you, I had to stop them from hanging you."

"Well, that was a long time ago. I'm sure some views have changed since then."

Elizabeth giggled.

Jack snickered.

Will said, "What!?"

...

It was a very long morning.

...

"I wish you would just accept the bloody Letter of Marque and be done with it so we wouldn't have to go through this every time you get caught in town," Will muttered. He sat watching Elizabeth pace the cell aimlessly, counting the number of steps that would bring her from Jack to Will and around and back again.

Jack waved off the idea with an offended flourish. "Go honest? An' ruin my reputation? What do you take me for, whelp?"

Before Will could answer, Elizabeth had snatched Jack's doubloon out of the air as he flipped it, holding it out of his reach as he made a badly- balanced counter-snatch and almost toppled over.

"You ungrateful villain, just what do you think happened to MY fine reputation after YOU showed up? Hmm? If I can still show my face after getting hauled off by a band of evil, rotten, undead pirates"

"Evil, rotten, UGLY pirates..." Will supplied helpfully.

"Thank you, Will. And being marooned on a desert island a whole night with a wanted criminal"

"A wanted criminal and a bloody LOAD of rum."

"Yes, and a bloody load of rum. Thank you, Will."

Not to be outdone, Jack offered, "And the weddin dress. Don't forget that."

Elizabeth thought for a moment. "Oh, but I did like the wedding dress, Jack, thank you."

"Yer most welcome, lass."

"Though it did get me banned from the Ladies' Gardening Club meetings for good."

"Well, I do apologize for that."

"No, take my word. Don't."

"Ah !! AND don't be forgettin you married a blacksmith."

"True! And I married a blacksmith! Thank you for reminding me, Jack."

"Elizabeth!"

She spun around and threw her arms around Will's neck. "I AM teasing, darling. What would I do without you around to protect my honor?"

Jack muttered, "Same thing ye did on that island, I'd imagine..."

"Elizabeth!"

"Jack!"

"Wot?"

"Stop helping."

"Righto" He reached over and pulled a doubloon from Elizabeth's ear.

...

Around noon Jack and Elizabeth had finally given up trying to compare scars, after discovering that she and Will together didn't add up to even one of Jack's least interestingly decorated bits. They instead tried passing the time attempting to outdo each other's most embarrassing memories. Jack was obviously winning, but not by as much as one might think, as William disqualified every other tale as being either 1. impossible 2. improbable or 3. too offensive for Jack to finish.

Sprawled happily across the straw with her head in William's lap and her booted feet propped on Jack's knee, Elizabeth said, "You know, these trousers are fabulously comfortable. I may have to keep them."

William tugged a lock of her hair. "They're my favorite pair, thank you very much, and I'll be expecting them back."

"You're a lucky one, William. Few men have wives so eager to get into their breeches."

"Oh, do hush, Jack."

There was blessed silence, but only for so long.

"I could always commandeer a pair from James."

Jack sputtered into laughter. "BWAAHAHAHAHA!!"

"NORRINGTON?" William blinked. "But...but..." Several responses vied for attention in his sleepy post-hangover mind. He settled for, "...but, they wouldn't fit."

"True, but oh the look on his face would be priceless."

"...HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

"Please remember to breathe, Jack."

Wheezing, the pirate reached over and gave Elizabeth a friendly slap on the stomach. "Ah, Lizzie, yer a caution. You have yer own pair of breeches, lass, let mine alone. Savvy? I'll forgive the rum, but the breeches are mine."

Elizabeth giggled.

Jack snickered.

Will said, "What!?"

...

Around one o'clock, Elizabeth asked, "So, d'you think they've got the mess cleaned up yet?"

Will said, "Do you think they're going to give us anything to eat?"

Jack said, "Can't hold his likker, but he sure gets over it quick, doesn't he?"

...

Around one-thirty, Jack taught William to pull a doubloon out of Elizabeth's ear.

....

At two o'clock, Elizabeth and Jack had nearly run out of songs, and still William wouldn't sing.

"C'mon, William, show us your lovely singing voice."

Will groaned. The guard had been down to tell them, in no uncertain terms, what he'd do to them if they didn't keep the noise down. "I don't think so, Jack. I'd rather keep all my bits, if you don't mind."

Jack elbowed Elizabeth in the ribs and mouthed, "eunuch." She flapped a hand at him.

"Stop it, Jack or he'll never do it."

"Oh, it's easy, whelp. Here, we'll sing and you jump in anytime you like..."

"Jack, I don't think..."

"Which one, Lizzie?"

"Your choice, Captain Sparrow."

"We'll do an easy one then..."

Will blinked in amused confusion as their voices blended harmoniously, echoing off the wall. Completely muffling the tap of boot heels as they made their way down the long corridor towards the cell door.

"OOOOHHHH...THE GRAY CAT PIDDLED IN THE WHITE CAT'S EYE..."

"...Er, Elizabeth?"

"THE WHITE CAT SAID 'COR BLIMEY!'..."

"Jack?"

"I'M SORRY, SIR, I PIDDLED IN YER EYE I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WAS... behind... He's bloody right behind me, isn't he?"

Elizabeth giggled. William just looked aghast. Jack followed his gaze, twisting his head around and up to meet the disapproving glares of one commodore James Norrington and Governor Wetherby Swann. "So he is! Two of 'em!"

Governor Swann said, "Good afternoon...er...dare I call you gentlemen?" Elizabeth cleared her throat and looked down at her lap.

"'Ello, Jamie. Care to join us?"

The commodore's tones were clipped and cold. "I most certainly would NOT. And what did I tell you about calling me that?" Jack just grinned.

Norrington rolled his eyes. "Up." When no one immediately complied: "NOW!"

They all three shot to their feet like cannon fire. Jack, Will was interested to notice, actually looked guilty. A touch. A smidgeon. He was...good lord, he was actually squirming under Norrington's sharp gaze? Just a touch. A smidgeon. Not enough to make Will believe it, but at least he was making the effort.

That was...interesting.

"Elizabeth...really..." Will tore his gaze away from Jack's uncomfortable state to gaze in embarrassment at his scuffed boots. The first time they found themselves in this situation, the govenor had been dumb with shock. The second time he'd been seething with rage. By now, he'd arranged for a kind of refined disapproval, not much different than the look the commodore was sporting. It was progress of a sort. Will was encouraged. A few more nights about town with Jack, and maybe they'd have the man in here with them....

He nearly smacked himself. Good God, what was he thinking? He'd been hanging about with Jack much too long.

"...but this really must be the last time. What will the townspeople say? Good grief, what would your mother think?" Mr. Swann didn't seem terribly pleased with the effect his scolding was having on its captive audience. Jack and Elizabeth both stood, trying terribly hard to look sober, mouths screwed up in a desperate attempt not to grin. Will had to sympathize with Jack, really. The pirate looked as though his head might fall off with the effort he was exerting to hold in the guffaws. And Elizabeth, half hiding behind her husband...clinging to his arm...blushing a repentant, maidenly blush...trying not to snicker. Wearing his trousers.

The laugh burst out before he knew it was coming, startling all five of them with its sudden sharpness. Jack, particularly, jumped out of his skin and nearly fell over. And that was it. All attempts at proper behavior flew right out the small barred window. They laughed and laughed, propped against one another, positively fizzing with mirth, while the commodore and the governor looked on in shock. He didn't know why. Either of these men could order Jack, and himself as well, to the noose at any moment. But it didn't seem to matter one whit to the pirate, who was leaning against him too weak with laughter to stand up straight. And it didn't seem to matter to Elizabeth, who was giggling wildly into his shoulder. So he laughed, and decided that it didn't matter to him either.

"William!" Swann was righteously outraged, glaring daggers at his son-in- law. Not as impressive as a James Norrington glare, but a good try. "I should think that you, at least would have a measure of—please tell me that you at least acquired that black eye defending my daughter's...er...honor."

"Actually, mate, "Jack chimed in, gasping for breath and wiping tears from his eyes, "a bloody huge bloke hit him with a—"

"Jack!"

"Wot?"

"Stop helping."

"Righto."

And they were off again.

James, for his part, stood back and watched the show with icy disapproval written all over his face, fingering the ring of keys to the prison doors in a thoughtful way. It wasn't until the gasps and giggles died down that he cleared his throat and stepped forward, key in hand, and unlocked the cell door. "Governor Swann. I suggest you take your daughter and her...husband...and see that they don't get into any trouble on the way home. I'll not have their disruptions in my Fort a moment longer." Stifling another round of giggles, Elizabeth and William filed out the door, to be herded off by Elizabeth's livid father. Jack was right behind them, confidently tipping his hat to the Governor, when Norrington caught him buy the scruff of his coat and propelled him back into the cell. "OH no. NOT you."

William froze, sudden and complete panic taking over his mirth. He'd been an idiot. They would hang Jack after all and it would be all his fault, and—Elizabeth kept walking. She reached back and grabbed Will's hand, dragging him cheerfully after. "Oh, do come on, Will. Stop fretting."

"But..." Will glanced back over his shoulder to where Jack leaned against the bars, grinning wryly as Norrington shut and locked the door to the cell with a heavy clank.

"Goodbye, Jack!" Elizabeth waved jauntily back over her shoulder. "Enjoy yourself!"

She giggled.

Jack snickered.

Will said, "What??!!"

...

Norrington watched them disappear around a corner, and turned back to his smirking prisoner. "I don't believe, Jack, that you've properly learned your lesson."

The smirk dropped off his face instantly. "And they DID?"

"Ah..." James leaned close to the bars. "You see, they have hours of Wetherby's lecturing ahead of them to help them learn their lesson. You, on the other hand, are entirely up to me."

Jack blinked. Leaned in closer. Almost nose to nose. "Then...why don't ye unlock this door here and come teach me one."

James appeared to consider things for a whole second before saying, "no," and turning smoothly on one heel to walk away.

"James?" Jack frowned.

The tall figure disappeared around the same corner William and Elizabeth vanished around only moments earlier, keys jingling.

"Just going to LEAVE me here, then?"

Silence.

"Bloody hell!"

...

It was a long afternoon.

....

Sunset had long ceased throwing its shadows against the walls of Port Royal's prison when Jack heard footsteps echoing up the hall towards his dark cell. He tipped up his hat and was greeted with the sight of one Commodore James Norrington, dressed in plain clothing and missing hat and wig, lantern in hand, silver keys dangling off one fingertip, smiling at him through the bars.

He grinned, knowing just how the lamplight would flash off his teeth..

"Hullo again, Jamie."

James grinned back, an expression for him alone. "Really. Jack. I think you may have gone a bit far this time."

Jack said, sweetly, "Do you, James darling? Truly?"

And then they were laughing, and the key was turning in the lock, and he stepped out into the drafty hall into the circle of lamplight. And James was backing him into the bars, pressing against him as though the wait had been almost more than he could stand.

"One thing." After a moment of desperate friction, James seized Jack and held him off at arm's length, squinting at him in the dim light. "Was she wearing—"

"Yes."

"And did you really—"

"Don't even ask."

James blinked. "You haven't learned your lesson, have you?"

Jack's smile was the sweetest, least-innocent thing he could imagine. "Of course not."

"Good. I was counting on that."

owari

Jack: So? What did we DO then?

Muse: I know, but I'm not telling.

Jack: That's bloody not fair! I got thrown in the brig fer something YOU thought up!

Muse: Are you really complaining?

Jack: Er...well...no...

M: There, see?

J: But I want to hear the story ANYWAY!

M: Oh, grow up.

J: Well, Jamie damn well won't tell me.

M: :::snicker:::

J: Please?

M: NO.

J: What if I beg?

M: You just did.

J: What if I promise to do whatever you want in your next little...storywhatsit.

M: Okay!

J: So you'll tell, then?

M: No.

J: Oh...arrgh!! ::::fwap:::

M: :::whap::::

:::thunk:::

:::smack:::

Authoress: Hey you two!! Leave those pillows alone! Take it outside if you can't behave!